Academics research effectiveness of speed awareness courses

Speed awareness courses have a "long term impact" on driving behaviour, reveals a new study carried out by academics at Aston Business School.

The independent study was undertaken as part of a Partnership (KTP) between TTC 2000, the UK's leading driver awareness training organisation who work with Police and across the country to deliver driver behaviour awareness courses, and academics from Aston University Business School.

The purpose of the KTP project was to develop a rigorous process for assessing the personal benefits for those attending speed awareness courses in order to measure their effectiveness. The courses were introduced by the Government across the UK to re-educate drivers and reduce road casualties as a more constructive alternative to fines or prosecution.

The 18 month study led by Professor Robin Martin from Aston Business School involved interviewing 1,311 motorists attending a speed awareness course who were caught speeding from five police regions between November 2010 and April 2012. Professor Martin and his team carried out a comprehensive review of how people behaved before and after the course, how much they learned and their attitude to the course, including their future intention to positively modify their driving behaviour.

When asked about the outcome of the study, Professor Martin said: "The results clearly show that the speed awareness course led to reliable improvements in client's attitude to speeding and importantly their intention not to break the speed limit. The benefit of the course occurred immediately and persisted several weeks after course delivery. The speed awareness course led to very reliable improvements in clients' attitude towards not speeding."

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He added: "Many people originally attended the course just to avoid three points on their licence but once they completed the course they felt it was beneficial to their driving technique. A total of 80 per cent said they would attend the course again because they knew they would learn something."

Des Morrison, Operations Director of TTC Group said of the project: "The KTP project has certainly made a significant strategic contribution to the company's progress. It has enabled the organisation to remain proactive in the field of ensuring interventions are evidenced based. The rigour and quality of the research has given us a competitive edge."

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